NYC-based Street Artist Denis Ouch has been busy lately painting images of Superheros in Face Masks all over the city. His most ambitious contribution to the series so far seems to be this monumental mural depicting masked-up versions of Superman, Batman, Thor (who technically is a God, not a Superhero), and Wonder Woman, accompanied by the urgent plea “Save Us Justice League” in white (and Ouch’s tag in pink).
The mural expands across two facades of the building at the corner of 8th Avenue and Greenwich Avenue (by the Mobil Station), in Chelsea.
NYC could use some saving, now more than ever I suspect.
I would never wish for anyone to become ill with the Covid, but if you’re outside your home and you’re not wearing a mask over your nose and mouth, then you are asking for it. No mask, no empathy. Wear one of these awesome shirts, designed by Austen Marie, and piss off the Karens and Chads who refuse to mask up because they are ignorant idiots They’ll be dead soon, so I hope it was worth it. This slogan is available to rock on a variety of T-Shirts, Hoodies and even Masks, and there are many other colors besides pink to choose from, but this is the Pink Thing of The Day, Bitches! Adult T-Shirt prices start at just $19.95, so get some quarantine shopping done now at This Link!
A few weeks into lockdown here in NYC, I realized that the KN95 masks I paid $10 each for (and waited weeks for them to arrive from China) would need to be supplemented with many additional masks that could also double as fashion accessories: because we are going to be wearing masks for a long, long time. Just being serious. I was able to find some colorful cloth masks while visiting the Berkshires a few weeks ago, but otherwise it seems like stylish, seasonally-appropriate masks are only available to pre-order, and who wants to wait for something you need right now? The great news is that, just in time for the 4th of July, SwaddleDesigns has all of their Made in the USA face masks on sale, starting at the low price of just $4.99. What a bargain.
Made from 2-layers of double-napped cotton flannel, these SwaddleDesigns non-medical Cotton Flannel Masks yield better particle filtration effectiveness than cloth masks made using cotton knit, cotton muslin, gauze, and polyester fleece fabrics. The double-napped cotton flannel (mechanical brushing on both sides of the cloth) increases the degree of randomness and enhances the filtration effectiveness. I probably don’t have to tell you that wearing a KN95 in the summer is like strapping a sauna to your face, but these cotton masks are going to keep your face cooler and drier.
In June 2020, Florida Atlantic University researchers developed a Cough Emulator lab configuration to assess the efficacy of cloth masks. The FAU team published a study that shows any mask is better than no mask, but some masks are much better at stopping expelled droplets.In July 2020, the researchers tested SwaddleDesigns 3-layer Cotton Mask and validated the SwaddleDesigns mask minimizes droplet leakage and provides significantly better filtration. Watch the Cough Emulator test video at This Link.
With so many masks on backorder, the good news is that the SwaddleDesigns masks are available and ready to ship right now! Shop the above designs and more, all on sale, at This Link.
Stopping the Spread of Corona Virus: You Are Doing It Right.
Combs, (2016) By Hassan Sharif (All Photos By Gail)
We were first introduced to the suspended sculptures and assemblage art of Hassan Sharif in the exhibit Here and Elsewhere at the New Museum back in 2014. Right now, Alexander Gray Associates is hosting a exhibit of Sharif’s recent work, featuring sculptures and woven assemblages. Recognized as a pioneer of conceptual art and experimental practice in the United Arab Emirates over the past four decades, Sharif has transgressed traditional frameworks for art making by extending his practice to performance, installation, drawing, painting, and assemblage that integrates ordinary objects as the primary medium. The tapestry-like works in this exhibition are conceptually linked by their relationship with the human body and social structures.
For this series, the artist creates artworks from sourced inexpensive and mass-produced goods that he buys at local markets in his native Dubai. By cutting, bending, grouping, and braiding these cultural artifacts, he sheds their functionality to enhance their aesthetic and political significance. For Sharif, “the work is about consumerism. “I use cheap materials, ordinary things that are readily available in the market,” he explains.
Back to School (2015)
By weaving together, in the ancient tradition of tapestry making, ordinary objects consumed by today’s society, Sharif points both to the hyper-industrialization impacting everyday life and the abandonment of old traditions that were key to building strong bonds among the members of communities in the past. On his interest in unifying aspects of both the ancient and modern, the artist explains “I want to nurture new ways out of the old and present these in a contemporary visual and artistic context.”
Back to School, Detail
In Sharif’s body of work, the rhythmically repetitive act of weaving echoes the involuntary functions of the human body, such as swallowing, breathing, and blinking. At the same time, the materials deployed to create the works in this exhibition, including combs, nail clippers, masks, and gloves are traditionally used to modify or cover the body. Recently, Sharif has centered his production around large-scale wall sculptures that incorporate objects that as he describes, “people depend on greatly to keep up with their daily routines and activity. So long as they are alive, they keep using, exhausting, and relying on them as if they are, in one way or another, part of their own bodies.”
In Masks, Sharif creates a grid of many colored face masks which cascade towards the floor, tied to one another by their black ribbons to ultimately form an irregular fringe at the bottom of the sculpture. The artists notes that masks have “an important historical role. In the Middle East, women cover their faces with veils. In Africa [masks are] used in dances to ward off evil spirits. Hiding one’s identity has become increasingly important.”
Ladies and Gentlemen (2014)
For Ladies and Gentlemen, he assembled mass-produced and inexpensive female and male shoes, into a drape-like object that emphasizes seriality and the dislocation of functional objects. His use of shoes speaks to an interest in sexual politics across centuries and geographies; in the work, men and women occupy a common space, and are bound together with hand-painted papier maché and ropes. In this way, he refers to the intrinsic connection between individuals and society.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Detail
Sharif’s interest in visual accumulation, and in systematic production, calculations, and geometric permutations are apparent in his choice of material for Combs (2016). For this work, he assembled plastic combs in a variety of bright colors, which jut out from the wall at irregular angles creating a haphazard visual rhythm. For the artist, combs, widely used to tidy hair, exemplify the use of logic necessary in mass-production of consumer goods. As he explains, “the number of teeth, the distance between them, their length and thickness, all seem to be well calculated, and they have been so for thousands of years.” Sharif echoes the geometric precision of the combs by organizing them in a meticulous gridded pattern in space, following a calculated mathematical model of his own invention, to create a hanging tapestry.
New Works by Hassan Sharif will be on Exhibit Through May 14, 2016 at Alexander Gray Associates, Located at 510 West 26th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District
Punching Bag (Left Background) and Artificial Leg (Right Foreground)